Residents of Ofra and of Judea and Samaria have been calling on the government to approve the Settlement “Normalization Bill” (also called the “Regulation Bill”) ahead of the Supreme Court order to destroy nine homes in their town.
PM Netanyahu has finally given instructions to bring the bill to a vote in the Knesset, and it is expected to go to its second and third vote this week. At the weekly cabinet meeting today, Netanyahu said,
“Tomorrow we will submit to the Knesset what is being called “the normalization law”. The law is designed to normalize the status of Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria once and for all and prevent recurrent attempts to harm the settlement enterprise.”
The bill would resolve the land ownership issues for the settlements once and for all, though not for communities where the court already gave a ruling, such as Amona.
The “Regulation Bill” legislation would allow the government to compensate Arab land owners who are able to prove their claims of land ownership over the formerly empty plots where settlements were built. The owners would either receive large financial package or an alternative plot of land.
In the case of land with unknown owners, the government could legally expropriate the land.
The legislation would require that the settlement had acted in good faith at the time it was built and they did not know the land was privately owned. They would also need to show some minimal form of government support in the town’s establishment.